Wednesday, August 14, 2013

American Feudalism

Feudalism: military service traded for "security"
Can feudalism, in the sense of its spirit and intent, be or become alive and well today in modern America?

If so, could feudalism fully bloom, in all significant aspects, into its ancient grandeur?

To get closer to the answer to those questions, let's first look a bit more into the concept of feudalism.

But before we look at the dynamics of feudalism in a manner that will allow us to properly understand feudalism, we will have to have some understanding about what germinated feudalism in the first place:
Warfare was endemic in the feudal period, but feudalism did not cause warfare; warfare caused feudalism.
(Univ. Cal. at Santa Barbara, emphasis added). Perhaps a deep understanding of the history of that time led our founders into their understanding and subsequent declaration about the dynamics of feudalism:
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.

War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.

The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both.

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Those truths are well established."
(James Madison,"Political Observations," April 20, 1795, in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, Volume IV, page 491, emphasis added). Madison understood from his study of history, which had revealed and made clear to him, that "those truths are well established."

Let's take a look at various descriptions and definitions of our subject, today, which is feudalism:
Feudalism was the medieval model of government predating the birth of the modern nation-state. Feudal society is a military hierarchy in which a ruler or lord offers mounted fighters a fief (medieval beneficium), a unit of land to control in exchange for a military service. The individual who accepted this land became a vassal, and the man who granted the land become known as his liege or his lord. The deal was often sealed by swearing oaths on the Bible or on the relics of saints.
(Wheeler, emphasis added). The feudal construct is encompassed in, and clearly shown by, the recent development of the post 9/11 American concept of "security":
Before a lord could grant land (a fief) to someone, he had to make that person a vassal. This was done at a formal and symbolic ceremony called a commendation ceremony, which was composed of the two-part act of homage and oath of fealty. During homage, the lord and vassal entered into a contract in which the vassal promised to fight for the lord at his command, whilst the lord agreed to protect the vassal from external forces.
(Wikipedia, emphasis added). The sharing of costs and other economic concepts and dynamics are also part and parcel of the feudalistic system:
Feudalism was a political system which was dominant in Europe during the Middle Ages. First used in the 1600s, the term refers to a hierarchy of reciprocal military and legal obligations among the nobility. In simplified terms, a lesser noble (the vassal) would pledge his loyalty (fealty) to a higher noble (the lord) in exchange for land (a fief). In return, the vassal gave military service to the lord. As armies were expensive to raise and maintain, a lord was able to distribute the cost (in men and money) among his vassals.
(About dot Com, emphasis added). The feudal system was also associated with conquering, which we would now probably call imperialism:
Feudalism was based on the exchange of land for military service. King William the Conqueror used the concept of feudalism to reward his Norman supporters for their help in the conquest of England. Life lived under the Medieval Feudal System, or Feudalism, demanded that everyone owed allegiance to the King and their immediate superior.
(Middle Ages dot Org, emphasis added). We pay taxes to a government that distributes those taxes in the form of a worldwide military power, the likes of which have never before been seen (MOMCOM: A Mean Welfare Queen).

We do so because of the security we are promised for so doing.

Some or all of the spirit and letter of the feudal system remains with us, and will remain with us until we are no longer a Wartocracy which practices the war religion called Mithraism.

None dare call it treason "austerity" (Why Is The Government Conditioning Us To Austerity?).

Stay tuned:
The feudal society was constructed for one reason: security. The nobles wanted the security of maintaining control over their far-reaching kingdoms, so they were forced to delegate power to local control. The peasants wanted security from marauders and barbarians from neighboring lands. They also wanted security from invading armies. And thus the development of the feudal system and the fief structure was almost inevitable. However, all this came at the great expense of the common man. He gave up many freedoms for his security. The question we ask you is: Was it worth it?
(The Feudal Structure, emphasis added). In future posts we will look at notions of Roman Empire Feudalism and other manifestations of feudalism, which preceded European feudalism.

The next post in this series is here.

A Day In The Life (lyrics) ...

1 comment: